Ultimate SR20 Rebuild Guide: Part 1 – The Teardown
Removing SR20 cam sprockets
Next we remove the camshaft sprockets. A lot of people make the mistake of removing the cams with the sprockets attached, but that’s the wrong way to do it. In order to remove the sprockets, we use a 1” wrench on the hex portion of the cam to hold it in place while we zap it off with a 24mm socket. You may notice that the wrench is a tight fit on the cam, usually it requires some light taps with a hammer to get it in.
Removing SR20 camshaft sprockets
We simply lift the chain up and slide the sprockets out.
Removing SR20 cam caps
Next we can loosen the cam caps. This step must be done in care. We take about 3-5 passes over the bolts, loosening them only a ¼ turn at a time, starting from the outside and working our way in. This must be done because the valve springs are applying a lot of pressure on the cams, so care must be taken to relieve that pressure slowly and evenly, or else the force of the valve springs can break a cam. This is pretty unlikely to happen on a 4 cylinder cam with stock valve springs, but if you were working on a straight six with thicc valve springs, it’s a real risk, and carelessness will break cams!
Removing SR20 cams
After removing the cam caps and oil squirters, we can lift the cams out.
SR20 dual rocker guide conversion
Now we can remove the rockers. This head has a dual rocker guide conversion. Keep that mind, as yours will probably have one guide and one shim under each rocker, instead of two guides.
Removing SR20 rocker guides
Next we use a magnet to remove all the guides and shims from the top of the valves.


  1. Nikita,
    Huge fan of what you’ve done here! Just curious when youll be blueprinting the engine and doing assembly and posting that back on moto?

    Love it thanks man!

    1. Yes, I’ve broken my pulley using a 3 jaw puller like that before. It can be avoided if you’re careful and make sure to have the puller perfectly squared up with the crank and don’t apply any uneven pressure when turning the bolt.

      1. I’m surprised to hear that. I’ve never had issues, but I guess I’m careful. What type of puller do you recommend?

        1. If I’m not wrong, the correct type is an harmonic balancer puller. That type pulls the pulley with two bolts that go in two threaded holes in the pulley.

          1. Well the problem is SR20 pulleys don’t have two threaded holes in them! That’s why I’ve been using a 3-jaw puller my entire life lol.

        2. A normal 3 jaw puller will work, just be careful with your placement of the arms and make sure not to let the puller bolt shift on the crank bolt. When I broke mine I was removing the pulley while the engine was in the car while trying not to hit the radiator so I had minimal space to work with and was using an open ended wrench so it was hard to not let the puller move around.

          I’m actually in the process of disassembling an engine and had no issues this time around removing the crank pulley

        3. Hello i see that you live in LA and i wanted to know ware you take your block to the machine shop? it looks like i have a rod knock and am looking to rebuild my s14 Sr20det by myself . i would like to toake it to a machine shop that does things right. ware would you recommend me to take it ? i would really appreciate it. Thanks !!! Oh and am looking forward on seen your writeup on how to assemble the engine back.

  2. However, I’m looking at RWD SR20DET crankshaft pulley photos and I don’t see those two holes. I’ve seen them in FWD SR20DE.

  3. Hi I noticed you mentioned you stay out here in la would you recommend me a machine shop to send my block and get it checked. I have a rod knock on my engine and am thinking of rebuilding it by myself for the first time. Would really appreciate the help.. thanks!!!

  4. This write up will help immensely as I’ve never tore down an SR20 before and will be doing it shortly to replace pistons and rods. Thank you for doing this and I can’t wait to see your next post about blueprinting and reinstalling everything!

  5. Absolutely thrilled to find such a well done and current article related to (disassembly) rebuilding the SR20 Part 1 however a little confused in your choice of a second topic in the series!

    Our garage and assembly area are as near yours as possible, actually we are probable several pages ahead of you now however, my son and I are anxiously awaiting continuation into your thoughts and direction on blueprinting and reassembly.

    Is there a planned date for moving forward?

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